On to the 50th!
While the rest of you were home, forced to miss the reunion because you couldn’t trust the neighbor kid to feed your goldfish named Huarte and Snow or because you didn’t want to miss your spam mail about mobility solutions, we, the self-selected good-looking, slim, hirsute, unchanged class members had quite a time. Here are some repeatable parts:
First of all, the St. Mary’s women all asked about you, as in “What about that cute (your name here)? Did he ever get married?”
The reunion began with parallel events: Bryan Dunigan, Tom Gibbs and the Michigan City/Chicago crowd hosted a couple of days of golf, dining and shenanigans in Michigan City and another group met Thursday evening at Sunny Italy for dinner. With us were Professor Don Costello and Kristine, and the late Professor Ed Goerner’s widow Iris. By the time the groups converged in O’Neil Hall, our class had a hospitality outlay that later gained Tom Weyer the presidency of the appreciative class of 1973.
Thanks to Skip Strzelecki, the Friday night class dinner featured vigorous, animated Ara Parseghian as guest speaker and official member of the “Great 68.” Enjoy listening to Ara by paging down to the following item (at www.ndclass1968.com). The 20 minute recording captured by Dennis Reeder includes Tom Weyer’s introduction. When you listen, you will have the flavor of our reunion – at a safe distance. Find on this blog, too, Dennis Reeder’s videotape of a succession of greetings his friends sent to Dick “Sandy” Carrigan, who would not give up to ALS or anything else that blocked his zest for life with his family. In making the video, Dennis had to work with what he was given: a mix-up in the order for body doubles produced members of the class of 1908 instead of 2008. Fred Ferlic, with the leadership skill he displays as the senior member of the Ferlic bloc in the South Bend Common Council, allied with Pat Barth and successfully blocked Joe Kernan’s wish for entertainment by a popular polka group. Instead, we had quite a group playing fine Mo-Town. Trouble is, while we had beauty among us in the persons of Anne Condon, Susan Schanning, Sheila Gibbs, Carmie Murphy, Elise Reeder and other young spouses, we had about as many of them as we used to find around on us on Thursday nights in January. This gave our reunion the feeling of a smoker, and certainly put a crimp in any plans for a toga party.
Other events went according to pattern – with a Saturday picnic on the North Quad, O’Neill Hall visiting, various seminars, and walks (or in the case of Tom Condon and Anne, bike rides) around the campus. On Saturday night, though, we were in two camps again, with some attending another class dinner program and the rest of us at a Covaleski Stadium dinner Fred Ferlic and Steve Anderson arranged. When we all met later, Bill Gormley told a story about Lloyd Adams and Pete Adams gaining a fourth place result (a whisker out of medal territory) as the South African luge team in the 1976 winter Olympics. (“Born to luge,” said Tom Condon.)
Turnout was decent, about 200 of us, mostly stag and all happy to be together. Fortunately, Father John Sheehan, S.J., is becoming a regular at these reunions and so is Pat Keenan, who arrived from San Francisco this time with a preference for being called Jake. Between the two of these classmates – with John displaying his actor’s force and Jake chortling, dancing and enjoying mischief with his rugby club buddies, our reunion had plenty of life. Jake had enough left for a so-called Alternative Reunion organized by Betty Doerr (SMC69) in San Francisco over the July 4th weekend.
Our class Mass officiated by Father John Sheehan, S.J. included a sobering, respectful memory of many, many departed classmates. The list has been placed on our blog.
Unfortunately, we continue to add names – with mourning and with appreciation for the time we’ve had as friends. Sandy Carrigan died on July 6, 2013. At just about the same time, Bill Kenealy’s son Jay, 33, died after a brief battle with cancer. We lost John Stafford, father of four, husband of Judy, on May 11, 2013. Louisville gentleman John Fowler’s December 18, 2012 passing came to light in the deceased list Notre Dame prepared for our reunion. Ralph Moore, who began with us, died in May, 2013. Richard Reddy sent news of former Bengal boxer and Pennsylvania State Senator Michael P. Shaefer’s death on January 21, 2013. Gerald A. DeAngelis died January 12, 2003. Lawrence R. Lange’s death occurred March 8, 2013. John B. Tracy’s memorial service took place at the time of our reunion. Thomas G. Wendel died April 10, 2013. John H. Glorieux died on May 12, 2013. Please remember these friends and their families in your prayers.
In addition to photos, our blog has instruction about using Notre Dame’s database for simple location of all alumni friends. See www.ndclass1968.com.
Stay in touch – Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. (off) 312-223-9536, firstname.lastname@example.org.